The US$119 GT-601 NFC handset is designed for “people who are concerned only with basic voice communication, mobile payments, social networks, and diagnostics using a low-cost mobile wireless device,” says Gentag.
RFID medical sensor specialist Gentag has announced availability of a low cost mobile phone able to handle both NFC and RFID applications. The phone incorporates an NXP PN544 NFC chip and was co-developed in Asia by Gentag in collaboration with NXP and other partners.
The GT-601 is a quad band phone featuring a 2.2-inch screen, 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, MP3/MP4 player and an FM radio. It is directly compatible with the disposable NFC sensors and devices produced by Gentag and can be bundled with specific diagnostic kits or sensors for medical applications.
“This low-cost cell phone will be about one fourth the cost of a current ‘smart’ NFC cell phone and is specifically targeted to the needs of people who are concerned only with basic voice communication, mobile payments, social networks, and diagnostics using a low-cost mobile wireless device,” says Gentag.
“We believe this combination of wireless technologies creates immediate global market opportunities for us in Asia, Europe, South and North America and India,” explains Dr John P Peeters, founder of Gentag. “We plan to rapidly follow the release of this first phone with an NFC tablet and new types of Android-based cell phones, and we look forward to an expanded collaboration with NXP.”
“Gentag’s work to bring the technology to low-cost cell phone markets offers great potential to the telemedicine applications,” adds NXP’s Charles Dachs. “NFC will allow healthcare professionals to monitor their patients’ health remotely, introducing over-the-counter technologies directly to consumer cell phones.”
“We believe this phone is the first fully integrated cell phone that opens all the NFC and HF RFID market opportunities at the same time for consumers,” Peeters told NFC World. “We are not aware of any NFC phone out today where the ISO15693 read- and write capabilities (that are part of the complete NFC specification) are available in combination with the other NFC capabilities. GT-601 supports all NFC functions including ISO15693 (e.g. NXP iCode SLI, Texas Instruments HF, and comparable industry standard tags).”
“The phone is also fully compatible with our disposable proprietary RFID IC platform that we can customize to work with any sensor, device or application,” he added. “Therefore we are now in a unique market position to create custom consumer cell phone wireless ‘bundles’ for consumer diagnostics, industry applications or even homeland security. The technology is covered under our issued and pending US and international patents.”
“In terms of pricing: It really depends on volumes, software configuration and what types of NFC sensor ‘bundles’ are included in the cell phone package as options, as well as the scope of the license under the Gentag/Altivera and Motorola patents,” Peeters explained.
“We expect that some carriers and some of our business partners will want to give this phone away for free with a one- or two-year wireless plan,” he added. “If the unlocked (SIM-lock free) GT-601 phone is sold without any monthly plan commitment, thus leaving the consumer free to insert any carrier’s prepaid SIM, the suggested retail/street price to the individual end-user in the USA is $119 exclusive of sales taxes. This is the equivalent of 89 euros. Such price includes one full year warranty and appropriate margins for all involved stakeholders including the retailers.”
“If bundled with one or more of Gentag’s sensors or devices for diagnostics or industrial uses, the price depends on the actual bundle configuration and the actual business deal,” Peeters told NFC World. We believe that some medical partners of Gentag will create their own data/patient monitoring plans and therefore will also provide the GT-601 cell phone at no cost.”
Volume production of the GT-601 is due to begin in March 2011. The phones are available direct from Gentag, subject to a minimum order quantity of 5,000 units.